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Renaissance Man

by Judy Richardson | Published September 10, 2021

Renaissance Man

Not long ago when talking to a friend about our years together, my friend commented that Chuck was a Renaissance Man. I am not really sure about the about that label, but it is true that his interests were certainly wide ranging. When he took an interest in something, he studied and learned all about it.

His love of music seemed to be primarily classical. We listened often to Bach and Mozart. He loved organ music, played on a “real organ” not a toaster as he called my little Lowery. He was instrumental in the installation of an organ at his church and personally knew well respected organ builders and renovators.  He introduced me to the whole process of building an organ and making organ pipes. We watched hours of this process on YouTube. He kept a large number of organ pipes some as long as 18 feet.  His daughter became an organist for several different Lutheran congregations and would often consult with her father about hymns she was playing. He was so familiar with the hymns in the Lutheran hymnal that he could tell her the title if she just played a few notes for him.

Yet Chuck loved Bluegrass and YouTube was the source of many evening hours of Heehaw and old time Blue grass music. Roy Clark and Grandpa Jones were just as entertaining as a Bach concert from Switzerland, or watching the director’s cut of Amadeus. His taste in other entertainment was very eclectic. 

Chuck’s collection of old books and magazines also reflected his wide interests. His library included fiction and non-fiction English and German. Of course, a large majority of his books were technical in nature covering all types of engines, farm equipment, automobiles and electrical engineering.

Chuck taught himself to speak and read German. There were many German books in his collection. He even managed to find a very few little books that escaped destruction during World War II, including several beautiful little calendar and poetry books with impressive color plates. As we browsed through his books I captured pictures of some of the illustrations, because I felt sad that they would not be seen by anyone.

We spent hours looking at all his books and marveling at the color printing of the past. Many of his collection were pictures from paper company catalogs. These beautiful prints were presented to show paper buyers the way color would look on various paper types and weights.

These examples came from many different sources and companies.  Some were dated in the early 20thCentury.  His issues of Inland Printer also contained some awesome pictures and plates.

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